I’m excited to welcome one of the geekiest Geek Mamas I know, Emily Parker, as our first game reviewer! I’ve been wanting to expand the site with more contributors and content, so this is the first step in that direction. Hope you enjoy!
As a mom, my hobbies seem to be cooking, cleaning and begging my kids not to leave their clothes on the floor. But, I used to like to play video games. Granted, when I was an active “gamer,” it was Centipede and Space Invaders, then later, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But, after kids I moved on to those other exciting hobbies. Recently I got to resurrect my gamer skills and test out a new game called Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest, which is currently available on Steam and releasing on BigFishGames.com June 5. I was a little worried since I hadn’t played in so long but I jumped at the chance to try this new adventure!
Darkarta is known as a HOG (Hidden Object Game) and played from the perspective of a mother (Mary) who is trying to save her daughter. I downloaded the demo and immediately called my 11-year-old son over to help because I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. But, I soon realized that I could totally handle it!
It starts with a couple traveling by boat with their little girl. They are on their way to learn more about Mary’s past. Everything seems fine until it’s not. Here comes Darkarta to kidnap her daughter, Sophia, as her husband is thrown overboard. Mary soon finds herself in a foreign place (Indus Valley) and in a foreign situation. It’s the classic scenario of an average person thrown into a crazy situation and forced to survive it. So, it was instantly intriguing.
My only critique would be that the mother didn’t seem appropriately freaked out that a giant demon looking guy on a flying buffalo just stole her child, otherwise, the content was great. My son and I were soon fighting over the mouse as we tried to solve the puzzles, interact with the characters and figure out where poor little Sophia was held captive.
I soon discovered the game has a wide age range appeal. My kids could successfully navigate the game and work on the puzzles, but it also was challenging enough to keep an adult engaged. I found myself ignoring my responsibilities and continuing to play it after the kids went to bed. I’ll even admit to cheering for myself when I created a dynamite potion and blew up a door to escape the treasure room.
After that, I was able to get the key to the boat so I could get off the island and continue to look for my daughter. I had been looking for the key for a while and it’s possible that I called for my children (who had finally settled down for bed) so they could come out and see what was going to happen next.
Turns out that was where the demo ended and what happened was me yelling “Noooo! I want to see what’s going to happen next!”
So, the upshot is it’s fun. There was a lot of background character information available so you felt connected to them. The tutorial successfully helps you get around, but the game could also be navigated without it for those independent souls. There are great hints along the way as well. In my opinion, they found the right blend of challenges that were difficult enough to keep the player engaged, but not so difficult that it would be impossible to solve and, therefore, cause the player to lose interest. I would absolutely get the whole game. I want to know what happened to Sophia and learn the truth to Mary’s past!
(After letting them know that we were hooked on the game, they were kind of enough to provide me with a link to the full version. So, I’m happy to say that I can continue on my quest which is way more entertaining than folding laundry!)
Emily is a stay-at-home mom in Jacksonville, FL. She lives with her husband, four kids and a ridiculous amount of animals. Her family, her animals, and all things nerdy are her passion and she enjoys blogging about all of it at www.the5parkers.com
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